All good things must come to an end eventually. The Rangers’ six-game win streak came to an end Wednesday night with a disappointing 6-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Artem Anisimov, the former Ranger, lead the charge for the Blackhawks with his first career hat trick. Corey Crawford made 25 saves to backstop the Hawks win.
The concerning thing for the Rangers is that they fell back into a lot of old tendencies that were going on before this six-game win streak. Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, and Rick Nash scored for the Blueshirts in this one, but the more concerning thing was the defensive side of the puck. All three of Anisimov’s goals came right in front of the crease, which is a telling sign. Not only were the Rangers outshot 43-28, but they lost a majority of the 50/50 battles.
It was obvious that Ryan McDonagh and Nick Holden struggled with the front of the net as they were unable to clear the net on multiple occasions. Henrik Lundqvist let in a bad goal, again. This time it was a snapshot from Alex Debrincat that went right through the wickets. Overall the defense and goaltending looked vulnerable and had their problems all night long. Even though the Rangers were able to bring it to a one-goal game in the third period, it was just too much Blackhawks offense on this night.
The Rangers play their final game of this short two-game road trip Friday night when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blackhawks visit the defending Stanley Cups champions Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night.